Independent bookstores are not just stores; they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity. They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well-spent. To celebrate their ever-precarious existence, five years ago an annual event was created known as Independent Bookstore Day, taking place at some 500 indie bookstores across the country on the last Saturday in April.
Every store is unique and independent, and every party is different. But in addition to authors, live music, cupcakes, scavenger hunts, kids’ events, art tables, readings, barbecues, contests and other fun stuff, there are exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on that day. Not before. Not after. Not online.
For instance, here are some of the one-day specials being offered at Oblong Books & Music in Millerton and Rhinebeck on Independent Bookstore Day: Free while supplies last, Oblong will be handing out copies of Atlas Obscura Literary Locations by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton and Poems to Keep in Your Pocket, a hardcover mini-book of classic poems by Kipling, Wordsworth, Pope, Shakespeare, Dickinson and more. Exclusive merchandise for sale on April 27 only includes signed copies of Women Talking by Miriam Toews, Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk, Why Don’t You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It? by Patricia Marx and Roz Chast and Man-Eaters Vol. 1 by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk and Lia Miternique – all with exclusive Bookstore Day covers.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill comes signed with an exclusive sticker pack, and Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, also signed with an exclusive iron-on Ada patch. Independent Bookstore Day Pins featuring Neil Gaiman, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood and James Baldwin are among the many other goodies available for purchase.
And those are just two of the many indie booksellers that we are fortunate to have in our midst. Also participating in the festivities will be Spotty Dog Books in Hudson, the Golden Notebook in Woodstock and the Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook. Check out your favorite local bookshops for more details on hours of operation and what special treats are in store for you there on Saturday, April 27.
Independent Bookstore Day: The Golden Notebook, 29 Tinker St., Woodstock, www.goldennotebook.com; Oblong Books & Music, 6422 Montgomery St., Rhinebeck, (845) 876-0500, 26 Main St., Millerton, (518) 789-3797, www.oblongbooks.com; Spotty Dog Books, 440 Warren St., Hudson, www.thespottydog.com; Merritt Bookstore, 57 Front St., Millbrook, www.merrittbooks.com